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Published by: api-26570979 on Oct 15, 2008
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Transactional Analysis
Transactional Analysis
Eric Berne (1910-1970) the founder of Transactional

Analysis (center) with Claude Steiner (front,) Jack Dusay (back) and Pamela Blum while attending the 1968 International Congress for Group Psychotherapy in Vienna.

With Transactional Analysis, Eric Berne made complex interpersonal transactions understandable especially the "games" that the "inner child" plays in order to gain recognition from others.

The TA therapist\u2019s task is to help the person to regain

its inner child\u2019s innate "Okness" so that it will be able to obtain the recognition or "strokes" --in short, the love--that it needs and so that the whole person can function in a positive manner. As consultants, educators and organizers, transactional analysts with their skills in analyzing transactional patterns are able to understand, predict and help improve people\u2019s communication and productivity.

Berne considered how individuals interact with one another, and how the ego states affected each set of transactions. Unproductive or counterproductive transactions were considered to be signs of ego state problems. Analyzing these transactions, according to the person's individual developmental history, would enable the person to "get better". Berne thought that virtually everyone has something problematic about their ego states and that negative behavior would not be addressed by "treating" only the problematic individual.

\ue000Transactional Analysis is a psychoanalytic \ue000Transactional

theory of psychology developed by American psychiatrist Eric Berne during the late 1950s

personality and a systematic psychotherapy
for personal growth and personal change.
\ue000Transactional Analysis is a contractual

approach. A contract is "an explicit bilateral commitment to a well-defined course of action" Berne E. (1966).

\ue000Transactional Analysis is a social
psychology and a method to improve
\ue000The theory outlines how we have

developed and treats ourselves, how we relate and communicate with others, and offers suggestions and interventions which will enable us to change and grow.

\ue000Transactional Analysis is underpinned by
the philosophy that:
-people can change
-we all have a right to be in the world and
be accepted
TA is a theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and
personal change.
\ue001As a theory of personality, TA describes how people are structured psychologically.

It uses what is perhaps its best known model, the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model. This same model helps understand how people function and express themselves in their behaviors.

\ue001It introduces the idea of a "Life (or Childhood) Script", to answer questions such as
"What matters", "How do I get along in life"and "What kind of person am I.
\ue001Outside the therapeutic field, it has been used in education, to help teachers remain
in clear communication at an appropriate level, in counseling and consultancy, in
management and communications training, and by other bodies.
PARENT ("EXTEROPSYCHIC"): a state in which people behave, feel, and

think in response to an unconscious mimicking of how their parents (or other parental figures) acted, or how they interpreted their parent's actions. For example, a person may shout at someone out of frustration because they learned from an influential figure in childhood the lesson that this seemed to be a way of relating that worked.

ADULT ("NEOPSYCHIC"): a state in which people behave, feel, and think in

response to what is going on in the "here-and-now," using all of their resources as an adult human being with many years of life experience to guide them. This is the ideal ego state, and learning to strengthen the Adult is a goal of TA. While a person is in the Adult ego state, he/she is directed towards an objective appraisal of reality.

CHILD ("ARCHAEOPSYCHIC"): a state in which people revert to behaving,

feeling and thinking similarly to how they did in childhood. For example, a person who receives a poor evaluation at work may respond as they did in their childhood, by looking at the floor, and feeling shame or anger, as they used to when scolded as a child.


There is no "universal" ego state; each state is individually and visibly manifested for each person. For example, each Child ego state is unique to the childhood experiences, mentality, intellect, and family of each individual; it is not a generalized childlike state.

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